By Fred Pruitt
(This may not be of interest to everyone, but these depths of things I find in Jacob Boehme, Norman Grubb and others attract me the uttermost. I found this writing this morning that to my knowledge I have never published. It was originally an email to John and Linda Bunting in February, 2006, and at the time I was not moved to share it widely. This was my first time in writing I began talking about Jacob and Esau. Coming upon it again this morning, it occurs to me there is no time like NOW!)
What I am understanding Jacob Boehme to say is that Deity has no I-hood, i.e., “personal” self, except in created self, created to be an I-form of the Eternal Unformed One. The implications of this are beyond everything!
On the other hand, created self has as its “right” of existence a personal self, since that is what it has been created to be – a “personal” self, a little “I” expressing the All in All “I” behind the universe. But we learn through the gospel that paradoxically we must give back to the Deity Who created us, the created self we were created to be. We must “lose it” or “die to it,” to seek not to be “a” self in a sense. It must give up its birthright (right to personal self-existence) and count it as nothing. (He who loses his life will find it.)
From the perspective of the Deity, Jacob steals Esau’s birthright because it is his by right, since by the Spirit Jacob has been chosen to continue the line of the blessing of Abraham. In the story it is Jacob but of course it is Christ Who must have the forsaken birthright of Esau – the right to personal self – because it is in the emptied self that the new self comes forth, having always been hidden in Christ in God from the Eternal.
Deity then in a sense attains “I-hood” by manifesting Himself individually as each of His created selves, each being an “I” in Him, an “I” which is a union-I of course, Uncreated Deity Spirit joined intimately with created spirit (spirit of man) which makes us, “us!”
Several other points come up. One is underlining again how there must be the two – Esau and Jacob, Esau the man of the hunt and Jacob a “plain man who dwells in tents” – and how one should serve the other. The meaning for us is that earth (ourselves in soul and body) is now the servant of the Spirit/spirit union in us.
Said more plainly, when Jacob comes back later with his flocks, family and much goods, Esau receives Jacob with tears and they embrace. What this means is that the rough Esau – our crude (when compared to Spirit) selves and our crude ways – have now come into the love, acceptance and rest of Christ, since He has come back from the far country having come into His own.
In other words, our human self, its faculties, “our self-ness,” which seemingly is our worst enemy from the day we begin our life in God, finally find their rest when we recognize Christ has formed Himself in us through faith, and that our daily normal living, our daily normal thoughts, reasonings and reactions to things, have now come into loving acceptance in Him, in that He has come from a far country and blessed us with gifts and grace, as Jacob did Esau, and Jesus Christ in Ephesians 4:8.
Esau fell on Jacob’s neck with tears and kissed him, both of them weeping much because they knew the love between them that overcame the anger. For that moment they were reconciled, no more enemies or opposers to each other, but as Jacob and Esau were reconciled, so were flesh and earth reconciled with spirit and heaven.
Now another interesting point has to do with the being and mystery of God. I am sure it might be a stretching thing to speak of God as if He has no “I-hood” except in created self, but hear me out to the end, please. Of course God is Person Whose self-description to Moses is “I AM THAT I AM.” And right there we get a hint.
He is the BEING of ALL BEINGS. Do we realize what we are saying by that? We have said it many many times, but I am always bowled over by new deeper plumbs into the depths of “Him in Whom we live and move and have our being.” And as we have also pointed out a gazillion times, that is ALL people and creatures, not just those who we call the “saved.” It means that God finds INDIVIDUAL EXPRESSION, not as some “separate-from-everyone-else” giant big “I” that sits in some location somewhere where we can stand and look at Him, but that ALL HIS PERSONAL EXPRESSION OF HIMSELF is put into the Son, and every Son found in THE SON will be and is purely God’s “I-hood” eternally and perfectly expressed as our individual selves, i.e., our human “I-hood.”
Another thing to realize is that since our I-hood IS the Deity I-hood expressed in human form, to repeat, that since our I-hood IS the Deity I-hood expressed in human form, then that makes this created self which we are, to be suddenly in our understanding the repository of something much more significant than previously considered. When this “I” comes fully into itself, then this “I” becomes a much bigger deal than we have imagined!
Again, not “just an I,” but an “I” which is the manifested “I” of God in a particular created self. And we further say, that this “I” that we are, is the “I” God saw HIMSELF TO BE in our form from the Eternal! It’s a really BIG DEAL – this “I” – because it is the “I” of GOD! It is the “I” that comes out of the union of our human spirit with the Deity Spirit Who indwells us and it is the “new I” – Christ and I as one “I,” and it is this “I” that has been hidden in Christ in God and it is this “I” that God has seen in Himself from the Eternal, and now in the fulness of time that “I” that He has always seen comes out in the visible world and is exactly every moment the “I” that God saw it to be in perfection, in the Eternal. We are speaking of you and me and everyone in Christ.
Get it? You never have been just “you” living as an island of self in the universe. We all started with our false father as our inheritance from Adam, but in the Cross the accuser of the brethren has been forever removed and each of us have been taken up into the heart of the Throne, not to cower in fear, but to decree the decrees, to issue royal proclamations, to be the Word that is Spoken from the Eternal Father, now manifesting in human form as you and as me!
So that further reiterates our point that life is from inward out, from heaven into earth, from the invisible into the visible. In order words, we are not attempting to affect heaven by our lives, trying to get God to do our bidding and favor us with some crumbs if and only if it be His will, blah blah. No, it is rather the truth that we are reflecting heaven by our lives, since it He Who lives the fulness of His Deity in the weakness of our human flesh, which is HIS plan, not ours. And it is a GREAT PLAN!
This last point may be the most difficult to grasp. But if there is no “I-hood” in the Deity as we understand it humanly, that places the fulness of the Godhead bodily in us! That means that “my” subjectivity, i.e., my self-outlook, is also the subjectivity of God Who lives in me. And the same in all! That means that my thinking is God’s thinking! That means my “my” is God’s “my.” He is the Being of all beings, over, under, in and through all things.
By using the term “No I-hood” in the Deity, of course I am not meaning by “no I-hood” that God is not “a” Person. God is “universal” Person and we cannot conceive that in our minds. WE only understand a person the way we see and know persons, i.e., as distinct independent-of-others entities, persons “over there,” and “not me.” All we can say of God as “Person” is that He is none of that. As “others” are “over there” from me, God is not “over there.” Every human person we see is as if an independent self-functioning unit, that has a location separate from ours. And He isn’t that. Yet, HE IS PERSON!
So then, in that sense, God is the real true “I” in all the little “i’s” and yet paradoxically each are themselves as individual beings, God being the True I All and in all.
May God grant everyone the eyes to see Him where He is, which is everywhere, above all, through all and in all. That is the whole world, and this is true right now, wherever you are reading this, and everywhere else as well.